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Material transfer agreements frequently asked questions

1. What is a "Material Transfer Agreement Expediting Form" and Why Do I have to Fill One Out?

The expediting form was developed in partnership with the department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) to obtain important information regarding your Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). The form serves as documentation of EH&S approval, which is required before the MTA is routed for approval by the appropriate University Official. Please send the completed expediting form and the MTA to the Office of Sponsored Programs, Rusteberg 101 or Fax (956) 882-7851.

2. How long does it take to have an incoming MTA signed by both parties and materials sent to me?

It depends on the terms of the agreement. In some cases disclosing institutions use MTA templates that contain terms and conditions that are unacceptable to the university. These unacceptable terms often require the university to deviate from State of Texas laws or from federal policies related to biological materials. Due to the need to negotiate acceptable terms, signature to the MTA may be delayed and the materials may not be transferred to you as quickly as preferred. Please be aware that MTA negotiations with corporations can be particularly challenging.

3. I want to send potentially export controlled materials to a non-U.S. location. What do I need to do?

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety will review the information you provide and assist you in determining whether your material is export controlled.

If the material is export controlled, you will need to work with OSP and EH&S to submit a license application to the U.S. Department of Commerce (or other federal agency controlling the export process for your material). To complete the license application, you will need to know the following information:

Name of Recipient Scientist
Recipient Scientist Address and Phone/Fax/Email
Birth Date of Recipient Scientist
Country of Birth of Recipient Scientist
Place of Birth of Recipient Scientist
Recipient Scientist’s Institution
Recipient Institution Address and Phone/Fax
Amount of Material to be transferred
Value of Material

Please note that not all license applications are approved by the federal government. Additionally, approval of applications may be delayed due to questions about the recipient that arise after submission of the application.

If a license is provided by the federal government, OSP will then prepare a Material Transfer Agreement for the Recipient Scientist’s Institution. The agreement will incorporate the requirements imposed by the license; these requirements will be non-negotiable. If the Recipient Institution accepts the agreement and the license terms, you will be able to forward your material(s) to the Recipient Scientist after the MTA has been signed by both parties.

4. I work with Select Agents and I would like to transfer some materials that would be considered Select Agents to a colleague. How do I do this?

Notify EH&S that you want to transfer a Select Agent. The transfer and shipment of a Select Agent requires prior authorization by the CDC/USDA.


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